The Berkshire Eagle  reports staff morale has improved significantly since a temporary management company arrived at Sweet Brook Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in August, an attorney for the facility told an administrative magistrate Tuesday.

When morale improves, so does patient care, Sweet Brook attorney Anthony Cichello said during a conference with the Division of Administrative Law Appeals.

The company has created a report documenting issues identified at the nursing home and changes to be implemented over 90 days. Cichello provided the report Tuesday to Administrative Magistrate Mark Silverstein and attorneys James M. Strong and Heidi Hoefler from the Department of Public Health.

Sweet Brook has been under increased monitoring from state and federal agencies since summer 2017, when surveyors responding to complaints discovered violations that included allegations of abuse and neglect of residents.

In August, attorneys for the DPH and Sweet Brook appeared for the first time in the Division of Administrative Law Appeals for a hearing to appeal the closure. At that time, Silverstein asked the two agencies to voluntarily share documentation related to the case in an effort to determine whether the case can be settled outside a hearing.

On Tuesday, the attorneys returned to the Division of Administrative Law Appeals. After Cichello talked positively about the changes to the facility since they previously met, Strong said he couldn't comment until he and his team reviewed the report provided that morning.

 

The written report will be due to the Division of Administrative Law Appeals by Oct. 25. After that, there will be a determination on whether the two sides will settle and the facility will remain open.